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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Embracing Canadian Values
    Posted: Nov/17/2011 at 7:09am

Adopting Canadian values should be the price of admission

Even a thug heart can apparently feel the compelling draw of righteous Canadian values.

A national poll released Wednesday has found 97% of people in this country want newcomers to adopt Canadian core values as a condition of being allowed to settle here.

The Environics poll, commissioned by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, found almost all Canadians believe immigrants should respect things like social justice, tolerance and the law before the door is opened to them.

In the survey, 96% of immigrants now in Canada said they also agree the allegiance should be mandatory.

Luis Carrillos, an immigrant originally from El Salvador, who is a counsellor and youth gang expert at the Hispanic Development Council in Toronto, believes it's our values that make it difficult for many bad elements to take root here.

"Canada is not fertile ground for gangs to thrive," says Carrillos, a father of two. He says, once here, many would-be gangsters turn to work and education, and leave much of the street violence to individual crooks toiling their trade.

Every society has gangs, he notes, but Canadian beliefs are often the main deterrent to them growing in this country.

The new survey found around 90% of Canadians -- including immigrants -- believe our laws should trump religious laws.

And 87% of new Canadians -- about the same for all Canucks -- found those wanting to set up home in this country should learn about our culture and history.

Three-quarters of immigrants believe all children living in this country should be raised as Canadians. The number was slightly higher among all Canadians.

The insistence that immigrants hold Canadian values dear as a requirement to settling here was placed even above being able to get along financially.

Carrillos questions this, saying it was only after he arrived in this country, decades ago and not even knowing the language, that he truly began to understand and adopt Canadian ideals -- mostly by immersing himself in work and school.

If adopting Canadian values had been mandatory for getting in, he wonders whether he would have bypassed Canada for the U.S. - not fully knowing what our way of life stood for until he lived here.

Professor Howard Ramos, of the Department of Arts and Social Sciences at Dalhousie University, helped craft the poll, and he tells QMI Agency the results show most immigrants "are embracing Canadian values right to their heart."

He adds those who were born here and those who've come from away largely share a common concern -- that everyone live by a shared Canadian code.

(Courtesy of
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